Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Archive for June, 2011

Alesi backed by one of his new-found friends

June 30th, 2011, Promulgated by Mike

NY State Senator James “For Sale To The Highest Bidder” Alesi has already begun to reap the rewards for going back on his word to his constituents to support traditional marriage.

Today’s Democrat & Chronicle is reporting that Alesi and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a press conference Wednesday morning after a private meeting at Gracie Mansion.

According to the story,

“James Alesi is one of those people that I think has shown courageous leadership on marriage equality, and I invited him here today to say thank you,” Bloomberg told reporters.

“I think it’s fair to say that his decision to become the first Republican to publicly announce his support for marriage equality was the tipping point in the debate. He paved the way for others to follow and for one of the most important pieces of legislation in New York’s history to be passed.”

Bloomberg has been a major campaign contributor to Senate Republicans over the years, and his support would be helpful to Alesi, who is expected to face a strong challenge when he seeks re-election next year.

“I will support those who are doing the right thing for America and for the world, and particularly for New York state and New York City. And I’ve done that before,” Bloomberg said.

It will be interesting to see if the big-money backers of the homosexual agenda can do enough to help Alesi save his political hide.  The early indications aren’t very encouraging: Almost all the comments on the story are running strongly against Alesi.

It’s July! Print Your Monthly Prayer Requests for Priests

June 30th, 2011, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

It’s July! Print your Monthly Prayer Request for Priests Calendar.

Vatican Insider Excerpt 6-30-11

June 29th, 2011, Promulgated by Diane Harris

“The tsunami of child abuse cases has devastated the life of the American Church”

By Marco Tosatti Vatican City

“The huge wave of child abuse scandals has dramatically altered the life of the American church. Not only from a moral point of view – as is obvious and right – with an examination of conscience that has been going on since the 90s when US bishops met in Rome in front of John Paul II and, at the time, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Ratzinger. But also, and above all, from an economic point of view.

The lawsuits brought forward demanding tens of billions of dollars in damages, which have enriched the victims of abuse from decades ago and the team of specialised lawyers in the field have forced several dioceses to seek judicial protection for bankruptcy. The first was a diocese of great importance, Portland, followed by others, including Spokane, Delaware and Wilmington. There is great concern in the Vatican. Not just because the United States, historically, has always made large contributions to the Holy See’s budget, a budget which receives very little revenue and so is normally in the red without the contributions of the dioceses of the various donating countries throughout the world, among which the most important are the U.S., Germany and Italy. The Holy See, however, also fears that economic problems could lead to repercussions on religious life and even on maintaining the basic living conditions for priests, especially pensioners. For this reason, the Congregation for the Clergy in agreement with other departments has prepared a specific document,  which will be released after the summer, possibly in October, that is specifically dedicated to the reorganization of American dioceses. The document is currently being examined by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, chaired by Archbishop Francis Coccopalmerio. Obviously the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is also interested in the matter. It will provide guidelines on how the U.S. Bishops’ Conference, and each individual diocese must act to rebuild its presence in their area.

A “classic” negative example of the reorganisation linked to the economic problems is that of Cleveland, where the Holy See has decided to send an apostolic visit, or rather, an investigation to look into whether the decisions taken by the Bishop Ordinary Gerard Lennon were adequate. He announced that 29 parishes will close and another 41 will be merged. The restructuring plan which will cut 52 parishes out of 224 is already in effect. Other cities in which word about closure has been heard are Camden, New Jersey, Allentown, Pennsylvania and New York City. The reasons that prompted the decision to close parishes in Cleveland have been the flow of population to outlying areas, the financial difficulties that have seen 42% of parish budgets finish in the red and the shortage of priests. Now this last point is questioned by the Vatican and the apostolic visit will serve to ascertain the facts. The Vatican has asked Lennon to stop his policy of savage cuts. In Boston, amongst many other controversies, he closed 60 parishes. So far the Vatican has not had any luck. The protests of the faithful against these cuts have been numerous and loud and have even reached the Vatican.

This uprising inspired the creation of a document which is based precisely on the nature of participation at the grass roots level that the Church in the United States has, therefore giving an important role to the laity. The philosophy is that of making a distinction between parish and the church. A diocese in difficulty does well to reduce the number of parishes, but must maintain churches and chapels where they exist, perhaps entrusting the care to families of the faithful who are willing to look after them and keep them open. Then on Sundays it is easy to send a priest to celebrate Mass. This solution would take into account various factors, the first being the singular issue of distances, which in the United States are so large. Outright closure of places of worship often oblige the private faithful of the parish to take long journeys to participate in the holy Sunday service.

A second problem that the document will take into account is the sale of and management changes at Catholic hospitals. The first recommendation is to preserve an ethical perspective in the case of a change in management. If this is not possible, then one can sell, but must anyway favour organizations and institutions that are ethically sound.

Finally – and this will not be in the document, and will probably be part of recommendations provided to the individual bishops, there is great concern about the consequences of the payment of damages for the abuses. Some dioceses, such as Boston, led by the Franciscan Cardinal O’Malley that have been particularly affected by the abuse phenomenon, are extremely generous. But they may run the risk of not being able to pay for pensions and healthcare assistance to elderly priests. The document will advise the creation of a guaranteed safety net for people such as these who are particularly vulnerable.”

QUESTION:  IS  IT TIME TO PRESS FOR A DIOCESAN-WIDE PETITION TO THE HOLY SEE TO DO AN APOSTOLIC VISITATION TO THE ROCHESTER DIOCESE AS IS BEING PLANNED FOR CLEVELAND???

Church Sales News

June 29th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

First, from our friends at Saving Our Parish comes excellent news that Providence Housing has withdrawn their purchase offer to buy St. Vincent in Corning. Read here for more details.

Second, the rumor mill is rumbling that an offer has been made to purchase St. Andrew church and property in the city of Rochester for over $1 million. As we reported previously, the church was being shopped for $1.2 million by the diocese.

We’ll continue to follow these stories.

George Weigel on SSM as a Civil Right

June 28th, 2011, Promulgated by Mike

One of our readers today lamented the way homosexual advocates frequently present SSM as a civil right …

It makes me absolutely ill to hear SSM being equated/part of/a continuation of the Civil Rights movement. But that is the result of our oversexualized culture – having sex with something/someone you love is your civil right?

Readers, especially Irondequoit Mom, might be interested to know that George Weigel very ably dismantled that contention yesterday …

New York State notwithstanding, the argument over marriage will and must continue, because it touches first principles of democratic governance — and because resistance to the agenda of the gay-marriage lobby is a necessary act of resistance against the dictatorship of relativism, in which coercive state power is used to impose on all of society a relativistic ethic of personal willfulness. In conducting that argument in the months and years ahead, it would be helpful if the proponents of marriage rightly understood would challenge the usurpation by the proponents of gay marriage of the civil-rights trump card.

That usurpation is at the heart of the gay lobby’s emotional, cultural, and political success — the moral mantle of those Freedom Riders whose golden anniversary we mark this year has, so to speak, been successfully claimed by the Stonewall Democratic Club and its epigones. And because the classic civil-rights movement and its righteous demand for equality before the law remains one of the few agreed-upon moral touchstones in 21st-century American culture (another being the Holocaust as an icon of evil), to seize that mantle and wear it is to have won a large part of the battle — as one sees when trying to discuss these questions with otherwise sensible young people.

But the analogy simply doesn’t work. Legally enforced segregation involved the same kind of coercive state power that the proponents of gay marriage now wish to deploy on behalf of their cause. Something natural and obvious — “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” — was being denied by the state in its efforts to maintain segregated public facilities and to deny full citizenship rights to African Americans. Once the American people came to see that these arrangements, however hallowed by custom (and prejudice), were, in fact, unnatural and not obvious, the law was changed.

What the gay lobby proposes in the matter of marriage is precisely the opposite of this. Marriage, as both religious and secular thinkers have acknowledged for millennia, is a social institution that is older than the state and that precedes the state. The task of a just state is to recognize and support this older, prior social institution; it is not to attempt its redefinition. To do the latter involves indulging the totalitarian temptation that lurks within all modern states: the temptation to remanufacture reality. The American civil-rights movement was a call to recognize moral reality; the call for gay marriage is a call to reinvent reality to fit an agenda of personal willfulness. The gay-marriage movement is thus not the heir of the civil-rights movement; it is the heir of Bull Connor and others who tried to impose their false idea of moral reality on others by coercive state power.

More here.

 

Mark Hare On Gay Marriage… Again

June 28th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

Ex-seminarian for the Diocese of Rochester and the unofficial media arm of the bishop’s office, Mark Hare, has penned yet another article in this morning’s Democrat & Chronicle newspaper in favor of gay marriage. He begins his piece praising supposedly-Catholic state senator James Alesi for his decision to break with his faith in support of homosexual marriage. Following this ringing endorsement, Mr. Hare launches into an assault on the Christian/Catholic understanding of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Here are a few excerpts:

“And yet, as a Catholic, I am fully aware of the religious objections to gay marriage. My church teaches that gay men and women should be loved and respected, but says homosexual relations are unnatural, that marriage is a union of a man and a woman that must be open to the gift of children. But how can you believe that a loving, committed relationship between two people of the same sex is a threat to the fabric of society?

When the church says same-sex marriage is an assault on the will of God, it collides head-on with the experience of millions of people. In the words of Groucho Marx: “Who are you going to believe? Me, or your lying eyes?”

obviously Christian denominations vary widely on their views on same-sex marriage. Isn’t it time for an ecumenical dialogue that can deepen everyone’s understanding? I think so.”

I find it shameful that Mr. Hare continues to use his bully pulpit in the secular D&C newspaper to attack the teachings of the Catholic Church. But I guess that is how one attains influence and power in the Diocese of Rochester, by attacking the Church’s teachings. Recall that Mr. Hare was a member of the Cathedral wreckovation committee.

See this post for more on Mark Hare’s push to promote homosexual unions in the state and in the Catholic Church.

What canonical consequences might Andrew Cuomo face now?

June 27th, 2011, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

From Ed Peters (ht Fr Z):
What canonical consequences might Andrew Cuomo face now?

In light of the foregoing, I see no way, absent a public reversal of his public conduct, that Andrew Cuomo may present himself for holy Communion (per Canon 916), and, if he does present himself, I see no way that a minister of holy Communion may administer the sacrament to him (per Canon 915). Indeed, the only question in my mind is whether the ordinaries of New York should lift from the shoulders of individual ministers the burden of reaching this decision, by making a determination to this effect themselves and, assuming they do reach this conclusion, whether they should announce it publicly or in a personal letter to Cuomo. (Personally, I think a public announcement more befits the markedly public character of Cuomo’s conduct and responds better to the danger of scandal presented to the faithful by his actions).

Voris: Catholic Wedding Bells

June 27th, 2011, Promulgated by Choir

Audio of Former Rochester Priest, Fr. Enrique Rueda

June 27th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

UPDATED by Ben on 2011-06-27. Dr. K posted this back in January and I’m simply bringing it back to the front page. I found Fr. Rueda’s words very encouraging and now it seems like a great time to hear them again. If you have a chance, at least listen to the first several minutes of the first audio clip. I love how he says it’s a great time to be alive.

Fr. Enrique Rueda

 

A little over a year ago, Fr. Enrique Rueda passed on from this life and went on to his eternal reward. Fr. Rueda was a no-nonsense, tell it like it is traditional priest who was suspended by Bishop Clark in the early 1980s over his outspoken criticism of the homosexual and liberal infiltration going on in the Catholic Church. Many have probably forgotten this great priest and the many truths he spoke. So that his words will not be forgotten, I have found two audio clips of Fr. Rueda that I would like to share with all of you.  In these clips, you will hear Fr. Rueda speak the truth about a variety of subjects including false ecumenism, women’s ordination, orthodoxy, the Latin Mass, Hispanic Catholic issues, and the liberal bent of the American hierarchy during the 1980s. There is a lot of very good stuff in these two 30 minute audio clips, so please find the time to listen to them both from start to finish (especially the first one, where he mentions the Diocese of Rochester).

Audio segment 1 – A radio interview with Fr. Rueda while he was still living in Rochester, though after being suspended by Bishop Clark (roughly 1988/9). Keep in mind when listening that this interview took place shortly after the excommunication of then-Archbishop Lefebvre, when the Latin Mass was not available in most places. Fr. Rueda makes a few mentions of the Diocese of Rochester and the liberal loonies here.

Audio segment 2 – A talk given by Fr. Rueda on various topics, mostly Hispanic issues.

Fr. Rueda wrote a number of books exposing the truth about progressives and liberals. Some include:

  • The Homosexual Network: Private Lies and Public Policy
  • The Marxist Character of Liberation Theology
  • Roman Catholicism and American Capitalism: Friends or Foes
  • The Morality of Political Action

Father also penned several articles for The Wanderer.

Please Suspend This Priest, Bishop Clark

June 27th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

Below are a few photographs from this past Sunday’s “final Mass” of the retiring Fr. Bill Donnelly at St. Mary downtown. Fr. Donnelly has been serving as the “Sacramental Minister” under laywoman “pastoral administrator” Anne-Marie Brogan (in alb behind the priest), who will continue on in that role.


(source)

When I say that the newly-ordained Fr. Scott Caton is walking into the lion’s den, I mean it. St. Mary’s downtown requires immediate change, or they will become another schismatic church like Spiritus Christi.

This parish has long been a flagrant promoter of dissent relating to the role of the ordained priesthood, women’s ordination, liberal feminist theology, and homosexuality. St. Mary’s frequently invite children to stand around the altar and to elevate chalices and patens during the consecration. A reader and St. Mary parishioner has said that people also recite the Eucharistic prayer with the priest and that many members are from Corpus Christi who openly voice hostility with Rome.

The above images are very similar to something we have seen before in Rochester…

In the words of St. Thomas More, “silence gives consent.” Will Bishop Clark be silent once again? The bishop recently appointed Anne-Marie Brogan to continue running this parish, so you be the judge.

Some posts of interest on St. Mary downtown:

The Other Side of the Story

June 27th, 2011, Promulgated by Hopefull

Christ cares very much about the fruit of our work, so let’s take a look at the FRUIT of this episcopacy:

I want to offer those who disagree with the many Cleansing Fire bloggers and posters (who have written of the problems with Bishop Clark’s episcopacy) a very specific opportunity to write clearly and concisely of the fruit of his reign, because THAT is what matters.   

Replies from his supporters simply condemning this site, or those involved in it, do NOTHING to make the case for the fruit of this bishop;  so, let’s be positive in this comment section, please.   Let’s give all those who have written here against the blog, who don’t feel the criticism is warranted, and others who are interested, a golden opportunity to state just what they believe the fruit is of Bishop Clark’s episcopacy. 

I don’t know how many people I’m addressing, because they all seem to be named anonymous.  It would be nice if they signed their names in this particular case, as they are writing postitively in support of their bishop, and to be  ”anonymous” seems like a lack of support for him, like being ashamed to sign.  But, it is not a requirement.  They can still post anonymously or under a false name if they choose.

Here are the rules for this thread:

1.  Comments are reserved for listing the “fruits” of Bishop Clark’s episcopacy, not for criticizing him.  But, “he’s a nice guy” doesn’t cut it, nor does “he has tried to…..”  We are talking about results, positive accomplishments which have moved his flock closer to God, enhanced the position of the Church to attract more souls; how he has MADE A DIFFERENCE, and what that difference is! 

2.  Spurious comments which don’t answer the fruit question — i.e. what are the good RESULTS of this episcopacy?– will be deleted as not relevant to the post.  Personality qualities and personal character, spirituality or political status are irrelevant to the purpose of this post too, as are education, relationships, and myriad miscellaneous qualities that don’t relate to accomplishing results, fruits, for the People of God.  Negatives are not fruits either; e.g. “He didn’t close Assumption.”

3.  Attacks against this website or its bloggers will be deleted.  Irrelevant posts which don’t answer the fruit question will be deleted.  Relevant portions of a post will be left if it is possible to retain the part which is invited to be posted.

Henri Matisse's "Still Life with Oranges" detail

4. Attacks or negative comments about the fruits posted, regardless of whom they are from, will also be deleted.  At this point, it is not my desire to squelch what people in genuine conscience believe is a fruit of 30+ years by having an immediate response trying to tell the poster why he or she is wrong.  I think it would be to everyone’s benefit to have a compilation of the claimed “fruits.”

5.  After a reasonable amount of time or, say, a few dozen replies, I will condense the “fruits” and give others a chance to agree or disagree on whether something is a fruit or not, and if it mitigates their concerns or changes their minds, and to comment, in a new post.   But for now, please respect the purpose of “The Other Side of the Story.” 

Relevant Scriptural References: the importance of the fruit of our lives and work:

In Mark 11 we read of Christ’s encounter with the fig tree:  “And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if He could find anything on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs…. And He said to it, ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again.’” 

In Matthew 7:16 we read:  “You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?”   

And Luke 6:43 reads:  “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit.

In Mark 10: 42-45  we read:  “And Jesus called them to Him and said to them, ‘You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.  For the Son of Man also came, not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.’”

And regarding not being fruitful with the gifts the Lord has given, we have this quote from Matthew 25: 24-29:  “…He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed?  Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents.’  For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.  And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’h

What fruits has Bishop Clark brought forth from the great gift God gave him of his episcopacy?  Please write; we are listening, and it is only fair to hear “The Other Side of the Story.”

 

NY’s SSM law: The inside story

June 27th, 2011, Promulgated by Mike

Immediately after Govenor Cuomo signed New York’s same-sex ‘marriage’ bill into law under cover of darkness last Friday night, Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio issued a statement blasting New York politicians.  His Excellency wrote, in part (my emphasis),

At a time when so many New Yorkers are struggling to stay in their homes and find jobs, we should be working together to solve these problems. However, the politicians have curried favor with wealthy donors who are proponents of a divisive agenda in order to advance their own careers and futures.

It looks like Bishop DiMarzio knew whereof he wrote.  From Saturday’s New York Times …

In the 35th-floor conference room of a Manhattan high-rise, two of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s most trusted advisers held a secret meeting a few weeks ago with a group of super-rich Republican donors.

Over tuna and turkey sandwiches, the advisers explained that New York’s Democratic governor was determined to legalize same-sex marriage and would deliver every possible Senate vote from his own party.

Would the donors win over the deciding Senate Republicans? It sounded improbable: top Republican moneymen helping a Democratic rival with one of his biggest legislative goals.

But the donors in the room — the billionaire Paul Singer, whose son is gay, joined by the hedge fund managers Cliff Asness and Daniel Loeb — had the influence and the money to insulate nervous senators from conservative backlash if they supported the marriage measure. And they were inclined to see the issue as one of personal freedom, consistent with their more libertarian views.

Within days, the wealthy Republicans sent back word: They were on board. Each of them cut six-figure checks to the lobbying campaign that eventually totaled more than $1 million.

Steve Cohen, the No. 2 in Mr. Cuomo’s office and a participant in the meeting, began to see a path to victory, telling a colleague, “This might actually happen.”

There is a lot more of this sorry story here.

St. Tarcisius, Boy Martyr

June 26th, 2011, Promulgated by Hopefull

A Corpus Christi Reflection

Long, long ago, when Catholic Schools were run primarily by religious orders and it was unusual to find a lay teacher, every student learned the story of St. Tarcisius.  It was one of the stories in the third grade reader, and produced much discussion in the classroom.

Tarcisius is said to have been about 12 years old, and to have lived in the third century.  What little is known of him comes from a poem composed by Pope Damasus I, about a century later.  As the story in the readers recounted, Tarcisius one day was carrying the Holy Eucharist to prisoners awaiting martyrdom under Valerian.  Instead of a priest, he went because he was less recognizable.  He was accosted by a gang of youths who wanted whatever he was carrying so close to his heart.  When he wouldn’t surrender the Blessed Sacrament, he was beaten to death, or perhaps stoned, as the poem refers also to St. Stephen. 

Legend is, that in spite of killing Tarcisius, those thugs were unable to pry open his hands to get control of the Body of Christ.  Only later, when his body was returned to a priest, could the Eucharist be easily taken from his dead hands.  Another version is that the assailants could find no trace of the Eucharist any place on his body.  Where fact stops and legend begins is a bit uncertain, but that a young boy achieved sainthood by giving his life for Christ is quite clear.  He is the patron saint of first communicants and of altar servers, and also of teenage boys.  His relics are kept at the minor basilica of The Church of Saint Sylvester in Capite, along with other martyrs’ relics from the Catacombs.  The feast day for St. Tarcisius in the Roman Martyrology is August 15, the same day as the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Statue of St. Tarcisius by Alexandre Falguière at the Musée d'Orsay, Paris

A good end?

June 26th, 2011, Promulgated by Mike

An anonymous reader just left a comment pointing to a Your News Now story published last Wednesday. That story attributes a stunning quote to Bishop Matthew Clark (my emphasis) …

Religion plays a role in many people’s decision-making when it comes to how they feel about gay marriage.

Bishop Matthew Clark says the Catholic Diocese of Rochester remains opposed to gay marriage. He says the church’s position is based on the belief that marriage is a sacrament, celebrated between a man and a woman.

It just seems inappropriate to me and a lot of people that it should be redefined to reach a good end, but an end that could be achieved in other ways,” said Clark.

Clark says the Diocese has lobbied state lawmakers, trying to convince them to vote “no” on same sex marriage.

The bishop says the church’s position shouldn’t be seen as discrimination against homosexuals.

A good end, Your Excellency? How is it possible for a Catholic bishop to say that any action whose purpose is to promote sexual intimacy outside of real marriage is oriented toward a good end?

I just don’t get it.

The Bishop On Denying Communion

June 26th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

If anyone is holding out hope that Bishop Clark will do the right thing and deny Holy Communion to those “Catholics” who voted in favor of the gay marriage bill (i.e – Senator James Alesi), then you probably aren’t familiar with the following comment from the bishop:

“In my 42 years as a priest, I’ve never once refused Holy Communion to anyone … I always presume good faith in those who approach.” – Bishop Matthew Clark, June 2004 Democrat & Chronicle (source)

Corpus Christi

June 26th, 2011, Promulgated by Monk

Eucharistic Martyr - Rev George Weinmann - St. Philip Neri Church - 1967

Joyful Orthodoxy

June 26th, 2011, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

What’s better than orthodoxy? JOYFUL orthodoxy! Here’s an audio snip I enjoyed from the recent Calling all Catholics show.

 
[if you don't see an audio player and you're on the site, click the article title "Joyful Orthodoxy" link]

I will concur with what Justin Miller said that there ARE good Catholic groups in Rochester (eg the St. Titus Fellowship he mentioned). They might be more difficult to find than the bad Catholic groups, but they do exist and are waiting for you. If you are not involved – get involved. Don’t let negativity bring you down. If you decide to stay in an unorthodox parish or group to battle for Our Lord remember to rejoice in your sufferings (see the CF banner above). If your parish community continuously brings you down – leave. There is nothing un-Catholic about wiping the dust from your sandals and moving on. If this blog is your only connection to the Catholic community besides mass attendance, step away from the keyboard and seek out some orthodox companions.

And remember – contrary to popular opinion, progressives and liberals do not have a trademark on smiling :-)
smile
photo credit: Charlie P Clark
Disclaimer: I am NOT endorsing the false stereotype that orthodox Catholics don’t smile enough and are angry and bitter. I think it’s just good to remind ourselves to be joyful and encourage each other from time to time.

Romans 15: 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. 14 I myself am satisfied about you, my brethren, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another.

If you’re looking for a group or a parish, find one you can trust and that won’t be at odds with Church teaching. A very legitimate question should be, “Do you follow Magisterial teaching?” There is nothing in the world wrong with asking such a question. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also interact with people who have differing world views. That’s also important. But having close connections with other orthodox Catholics is much more important.

Somewhat related, I was listening to Dr. Paul Kengor on the 6/17 show of Catholic Answers Live and he fielded a question in which the caller asserted that a professor from Grove City College said, “at no point in scripture did Christ actually identify himself as God.” Dr. Kengor didn’t respond by saying, “hmmm, well the thing is this” or “we have room for lots of opinions here” or “I can’t possibly know what the other professors are teaching”. He had enough confidence in his colleagues to take the caller on directly and said, “Believe me, believe me – it definitely wasn’t here. No way – not here!”

 
[if you don't see an audio player and you're on the site, click the article title "Joyful Orthodoxy" link]

note: Grove City College is a protestant college and I’m not saying their orthodoxy is the same as our orthodoxy, but the point is that it is quite possible the weed out dissenting opinions and actually have some confidence in your organization. Pray that one day a bishop of Rochester would be able to answer a question with such certainty.

Discuss your priests’ and parishes’ SSM comments

June 25th, 2011, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

Seeing as how just this Friday a monumental social engineering piece of legislation was passed, I’d be curious to know what your priests and parishes have to say about it. Did your priest (or lay-person) mention it in his homily (or liturgical abuse speech)? Was there any other mention of it elsewhere in the parish? It’s high time we start outing poor leadership and calling them to task. If one word is mentioned that sounds like support for this disgusting legislation, it should be documented and reported. How bout starting here and letting us know what you heard from the pulpit?

Brooklyn bishop blasts NY politicians

June 25th, 2011, Promulgated by Mike

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn released the following statement shortly after Governor Cuomo signed the same-sex ‘marriage’ bill into law.

Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature have deconstructed the single most important institution in human history. Republicans and Democrats alike succumbed to powerful political elites and have passed legislation that will undermine our families and as a consequence, our society.

With this vote, Governor Cuomo has opened a new front in the culture wars that are tearing at the fabric of our nation. At a time when so many New Yorkers are struggling to stay in their homes and find jobs, we should be working together to solve these problems. However, the politicians have curried favor with wealthy donors who are proponents of a divisive agenda in order to advance their own careers and futures.

What is needed in our state is leadership and not political gamesmanship.

In light of these disturbing developments and in protest for this decision, I have asked all Catholic schools to refuse any distinction or honors bestowed upon them this year by the governor or any member of the legislature who voted to support this legislation. Furthermore, I have asked all pastors and principals to not invite any state legislator to speak or be present at any parish or school celebration.

The above request is intended as a protest of the corrupt political process in New York State. More than half of all New Yorkers oppose this legislation. Yet, the governor and the state legislature have demonized people of faith, whether they be Muslims, Jews, or Christians, and identified them as bigots and prejudiced, and voted in favor of same-sex “marriage.” It is mystifying that this bill would be passed on the last day of an extended session under the cover of darkness.

This issue has been framed as upholding marriage equality. This is not the case since one of the principal purposes of marriage is to bring new life into the world. This cannot happen in same-sex marriage. It is not a civil rights issue, but rather a human rights issue upholding the age-old understanding of marriage. Our political leaders do not believe their own rhetoric. If they did, how in good conscience could they carve out any exemption for institutions that would be proponents of bigotry and prejudice?

Republicans and Democrats equally share responsibility for this ruinous legislation and we as Catholics should hold all accountable for their actions.

Discussion on immediate social ramifications of SSM

June 25th, 2011, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

The recent legislation regarding same-sex marriage brings about many questions. The Church, and we as Catholics, are going to have to prepare for certain situations. One such situation that will probably come up right away for many of us is the engagement of our homosexual friends, family, and colleagues. I’m trying to figure out what the best way to respond would be.

Scenario: Homosexual friend enthusiastically says, “I just got engaged!” amongst a group of people at today’s bbq. Everyone pawns over them, “congratulations, I’m so happy for you”. What do you do? Frowny face? Silence? An insincere “congrats”? Smile and exit the discussion somehow? I’m seriously curious how best to handle this. So if anyone out there has some ideas, please share them.

NOTE: Pro-SSM supporters – this is not the thread to debate SSM. This is a thread to discuss amongst those who are in opposition to SSM how to handle it in social situations. If you try to hijack this discussion, I will delete your comments.

UPDATE: After a lengthy discussion (thanks to everyone for participating), I thought I’d wrap up some of the general thoughts here. The possible reactions I posted originally were just to get the ideas flowing and not what I would necessarily condone. I’d concur with those who say that the most important thing to do is to make sure you avoid giving the impression that you condone SSM or the homosexual agenda. Saying “congratulation” or “I’m happy for you” are out of the question. Given differing personalities and situations, I believe there are many different acceptable responses, but any form of acceptance should be avoided. My personal favorites are Hopefull’s idea of knocking over a glass of wine and Sassy’s idea to ask if they’re considering NFP :-)